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Bibliotherapy

I was reading an article (1) at work the other day about Bibliotherapy – Book Prescription Schemes: A strategy for delivering psychological treatments.

Has anyone heard of this? I hadn’t. It’s aimed at helping adults with mild to moderate mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. GPs prescribe appropriate books from a standard list, and the patient can then get the books from the local library using their “prescription”.

I certainly would have found it very useful to have some books recommended to me when I was first diagnosed, as I tend to go into research mode whenever  come across a new challenge. As it was I (and I presume my GP) knew nothing about this and so I just picked books up haphazardly.

Apparently there are over 100 of these bibliotherapy schemes in the UK, after a successful pilot scheme in Cardiff. More info on the scheme.

This is only recommended for mild to moderate cases, as I assume those suffering from severe mental health problems aren’t likely to have the motivation/energy to use self-help resources.

So, have any books/videos/websites/resources been really helpful to you?

One of the books I found most helpful and gave me some self-insight before attending CBT was The Worry Cure: Stop Worrying and Start Living by Robert L. Leahy, as it explains some of the most common negative thought patterns.

(1) Bibliotherapy by Professor Neil Frude, Panlibus Magazine, Issue 9, Summer 2008.

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